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CHILDREN'S CLARITIN(R) and KaBOOM! Help Bring Play to Kids and Communities in Need

August 1, 2013 - Whitehouse Station, NJ

Merck Consumer Care, the makers of CHILDREN'S CLARITIN®, today announced a new program with national nonprofit KaBOOM!, to help bring innovative play spaces to schools in need. The campaign is engaging parents on the Claritin Facebook page, asking them to vote for one of 12 finalist schools. The four schools with the most votes will receive Imagination Playground™ equipment, which creates an accessible, creative place for children to play in 2014.

According to Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), creative play helps children adjust to the school setting, foster learning behaviors, develop problem-solving skills and it enhances their readiness to learn.(1) However, schools nationally are decreasing playtime during the day. Children in under-resourced areas are disproportionately affected due to factors such as reduced access to play in the community. As a result, these children may miss some additional opportunities to develop skills that contribute to learning and social development.(2)

Children's Claritin and KaBOOM! are helping to bring play to kids in need by offering 12 national schools the chance to win Imagination Playground equipment. These mobile play sets are comprised of oversized foam blocks that can be assembled inside or outside, offering children of all abilities the opportunity to foster creativity and critical-thinking skills. KaBOOM! selected the 12 finalist schools based on their criteria for this program, which included, among other factors, impact on low-income areas and number of students served. In addition, according to the schools' submissions, many include students who have physical, cognitive or language disabilities that may inhibit them from fully exploring traditional playground equipment.

"I'm thrilled to work with Children's Claritin to help spread the word to parents across America that every vote counts in our effort to bring play to schools in need," said Brooke Burke-Charvet, host of Dancing with the Stars and spokesperson for the makers of Claritin. "As parents, we can help make a difference in the lives of kids who deserve every opportunity to be creative and learn at school."

Beginning Aug. 1 through Oct. 31, 2013, parents are invited to vote for one of 12 finalist schools via an app on the Claritin facebook page. Parents can vote once a day throughout the promotion, and the four schools with the most votes will each receive Imagination Playground equipment. All votes count in selecting the four winners and support Children's Claritin's efforts with KaBOOM!. Participants can post a "cause donation badge" for this promotion onto their Facebook timeline. The four winning schools will be announced in November 2013 and will receive the play sets in 2014. A valid Facebook account is required to vote.

"Kids should have the time and opportunity to play actively, every day, in their schools and communities," said Darell Hammond, founder and CEO of KaBOOM!. "Through this campaign, we are bringing engaging play opportunities to schools and communities in need. We're excited to team up with Children's Claritin because we share their commitment to help kids get the most out of every day, in school or at play."

Other factors beyond creative play may also impact learning readiness. For the up to 40 percent of school-aged children who suffer from allergies(3), common symptoms -- like sneezing, itchy, watery eyes -- can impact everyday activities, like school work and play. In fact, a new survey commissioned by the makers of Children's Claritin revealed nearly three-fourths (74 percent) of parents with kids who have seasonal allergies admit that their kids seem less playful when they are suffering.(4)

"As a mom of four, I hate to see my kids suffer from allergies -- they don't feel at their best, whether in the classroom or outside playing," Burke continued. "I use Children's Claritin because it's non-drowsy and it helps manage their symptoms for 24 hours so they can focus on school and play, not on their allergies."

For more information and the official contest rules, please visit the brand's facebook page at

About the Survey
The survey was conducted by Edelman Berland on behalf of Merck Consumer Care, the makers of Children's Claritin®, among a representative sample of 601 parents who have children ages 2-12 who are seasonal allergy sufferers. The survey was fielded online Jan. 4- 11, 2013.

About KaBOOM!
KaBOOM! is the national nonprofit dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most. Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation, a fact that is having disastrous consequences on their health, achievement levels, and overall well-being. Social entrepreneur Darell Hammond founded non-profit KaBOOM! in 1996 in Washington, D.C., with a vision of creating a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America because children need to play actively every day at home, in school and in their communities. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 95,000 places to play, built more than 2,300 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country. KaBOOM! also provides communities with online tools to self-organize and take action to support play on both a local and national level. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has an office in San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit

All CLARITIN® brand products are non-drowsy and provide powerful allergy relief for 12 or 24 hours in a variety of forms, including: CLARITIN Tablets, CLARITIN® Liqui-Gels®, an easy-to-swallow liquid-filled capsule, and CLARITIN RediTabs® tablets, an orally-disintegrating tablet for ages 6 and older. CHILDREN'S CLARITIN® comes in Grape Chewables or Syrup forms and provides allergy relief for kids 2 and older.

CLARITIN is the No. 1 physician-recommended and pediatrician-recommended non-drowsy over-the-counter allergy brand. The CLARITIN Rx-to-OTC switch in 2002 was the largest switch ever -- and the first for a non-drowsy antihistamine. For more information on allergies and treatment, visit

About Merck Consumer Care
Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. MSD Consumer Care, Inc., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., is also known as "Merck Consumer Care." Each day, millions count on one or more of our industry-leading brands that help prevent or treat various common conditions. These include household names such as CLARITIN® for allergies, COPPERTONE® for sun care, DR. SCHOLL'S® for foot care, and many more. For more information, visit and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Merck forward-Looking Statement
This news release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck's management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; Merck's ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck's patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in Merck's 2012 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC's Internet site (

(1) Ginsburg KR. "The importance of play in promoting healthy child development and maintaining strong parent-child bonds." Pediatrics 119.1 (Jan 2007): 182-91.
(2) Milteer, RM. and KR. Ginsburg. "The Importance of play in promoting healthy child development and maintaining strong parent-child bond: focus on children in poverty." Pediatrics 129.1 (Jan 2012): 204-13.
(3) Wright, A., C. Holberg, F. Martinez, M. Halonen, W. Morgan, and L. Taussig. "Epidemiology of physician-diagnosed allergic rhinitis in childhood." Pediatrics 94.6 (Dec 1994): 895-901.
(4) "Seasonal Allergy Sufferer- Children" Survey. Conducted online by Edelman Berland on behalf of Merck. Jan 2013.

Media Contacts:
Jess Ayers
(908) 473-6430

Amy Rose
(908) 473-5161

Investor Contacts:
Carol Ferguson
(908) 423-4465

Justin Holko
(908) 423-5088


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